Submitted by Jan on Mon, 06/06/2016 – 20:14
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 6
Year C (2015-2016)
Bible Book: Luke
Including: Psalm 5:1-8; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:5-21 – NLT
This story, of the woman who anointed Jesus, reminds me of bravery and deep worship. While it is entitled, “Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman” in the New Living Translation of the Bible, I am in awe of the action she took, the worship to Jesus and the sacrifice she made.
One would ask about her guts in going into the Pharisee’s house, being a known ‘immoral’ woman, with an intention of seeing Jesus there, not to mention the actions she performs. Simon the Pharisee looks and says in his heart, “If this man (Jesus) were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She is a sinner!”
Simon, of course Jesus knows what kind of woman she is, even much more than you do!
Psalm 5 verses 1 – 8 tell us that God understands our sighing, cries for help, words, requests and the waiting for answers. Our sighing. This woman’s weeping tells us a lot more about what sits deep in her heart, though she never says a word. She had tears enough to wash Jesus’ feet!
Psalm 32 says that ‘blessed is the one whose sins are covered, whose transgressions are forgiven, and in whose spirit is no deceit’. Many could have been ‘deceived’ by the life this woman lived, that is why she was labelled in her community, but verse 17 says God is a hiding place, he is our Protector from trouble, our Deliverer. She understood this and was able to bring herself low enough to admit her inadequacies before Jesus, through her actions; to go to God as her hiding place, the one who knows her in all truth. She managed to do what Jesus’ host should have done – offer him water to wash the dust off his feet, greet him with a kiss and anoint him with olive oil, and she did all that. From the depth of her heart she worshipped and honoured Jesus. In an unlikely time and occasion, she did what no one had ever thought to do in honouring and refreshing Jesus. All this in silence and tears. Simon judged her by her external actions and appearance, and that’s usually what people without understanding will do. (Galatians 2: 5-21)
So whether I am broken, as I live in a broken world, or I feel on top of things and doing great, Jesus awaits our sighing, our acts of worship to him, our cries or joys, and he will receive them as they represent something bigger from the heart itself. This woman leaves the house of the Pharisee forgiven, free and in peace, saved by the faith hidden in her heart. All her actions since entering the house were faith actions.
How amazing is this love of Jesus, of God! And we have that opportunity to be those hands and feet that minister this love to others, and can lead them to the place where they can find peace, love and freedom, no matter how broken.
To think about:
What worship can you offer to God, in some of the most unlikely of places and times.
Can we see another and serve them in unexpected ways that bring honour to Jesus?
Can we hear the silence in the people of our broken world? Can we see their tears?
If worship is not just what we do at church once a week, then we have plenty of occasion to do it, as we serve God where he has planted us, no matter what others think or say of us. And serving others is worship to the Lord.
Written by: Ms. Minenhle Moyo, Churches, Channel of Hope’ Facilitator, Trainer & Community Developer
Author: Moyo M (Ms)